“And pity–people who inspire it in you are actually very powerful people. To get someone else to take care of you, to feel sorry for you–that takes a lot of strength, smarts, manipulation. Very powerful people.” – Deb Caletti, The Secret Life of Prince Charming
This is so late…
Today’s quote challenge is a little special. I’ve chosen this quote from here because in today’s post, I’d like to talk about pity.
I don’t pity people often because if I were in their shoes, I wouldn’t want to be pitied. I dislike pity very much and would be terribly disappointed if someone pitied me or if I pitied someone.
Why would you want people to pity you? Why would you want people to feel sorry for you? When others feel sorry about my physical condition, they’re not just thinking, oh, you poor soul; they’re also thinking, glad I don’t have that…
There is always a line of condescension somewhere in there and as we all know, condescension isn’t a very nice thing.
I find that while pity urges people to do things for others, it can never be better than admiration or respect. Admiration and respect motivate people to not just go further, but also for a longer length of time. Granted, there are different levels of admiration and respect, so there could be short-lived admiration and respect (e.g. Wong Fu).
I’d want people to admire and respect my actions rather than pity my history. You should want to help someone out not because of pity, but because they’re important to you (or at least the cause is important to you). No, no, don’t pity the endangered animals, because we did that to them and one day, humans will be endangered, too.
Don’t pity that boy who lost a parent, but admire his strength and the walls he has had to overcome to reach today. However, if it seems like that boy hasn’t learned his lessons and doesn’t value the preciousness of life and family, then I’ll just be indifferent to his situation. (And as we’ve talked about already, indifference causes more damage than outright dislike.)
What made me want to write this post? Nothing, really. It has been one my to-do list for quite a long time, as I never had the chance to write about pity and my strong dislike for it.